We’ll admit it: our first thought when we heard whispers of an Aman Tokyo was that they might just have lost the plot. Why would these purveyors of resort perfection bother with the city? And why this particular city, whose high-end hotels are already as close to flawless as any we’ve seen? Well, we were fools to wonder. There might be no challenge that Aman resorts isn’t up to — certainly not Tokyo, where they’ve created something that the rest of the world’s luxury hoteliers will be chasing for a decade or more.
Turns out the top of a Japanese skyscraper is tailor-made for the kind of quiet seclusion an Aman resort is tasked with providing. Once you’re on the 33rd floor of the Otemachi Tower, the city streets are a mere memory. The modernist spaces are calming to a degree that’s awe-inspiring, almost religious. The interiors throughout, in fact, were designed by Kerry Hill, the Australian architect who’s responsible for more than a few other Aman resorts, and who’s clearly quite comfortable remaining faithful to Japanese idiom. It’s not quite the full tatami experience, but it’s a fairly traditional one all the same.
What’s to say about the nuts and bolts of the place? Everything’s perfect, is the short version. The rooms are a modern, urban interpretation of a classic ryokan, as is the stunning, massive spa, incidentally, with its baths clearly inspired by the traditional spring-fed onsen. The views, naturally, are phenomenal, and the tower’s location alongside the Imperial Gardens certainly doesn’t hurt in that department. And even Aman is inspired to step up its culinary game in this Michelin-star-studded city; Arva, on the 33rd floor, serves a local interpretation of European fare, made from exotic Japanese ingredients, to memorable results.
How to get there:
The Otemachi Tower is connected to five-line Otemachi subway station and close to Tokyo Station, which offers access to the nationwide bullet-train network. Haneda Airport is a 40-minute drive and handles domestic and international flights, while Narita Airport is a 60-minute drive and handles international flights.